I really don't know what there is to say anymore. It's the same shit every game, and it doesn't seem that anything John Groce does has an effect. At least, not one long enough to make a big impact.
First it was replacing Tyler Griffey in the starting lineup with Sam McLaurin, and today Groce benched Brandon Paul in favor of Joseph Bertrand. It was a move Groce made in response to Brandon Paul not even trying to play defense against Michigan State.
At first it worked. In the first half Brandon wasn't playing well, but the effort was there. The problem is that we're discovering that when it comes to Brandon Paul, if his offense isn't working he's not going to play defense. Groce benched him again during the second half, and the Illini got off to a nice start coming out of halftime. Then Paul came on, things fell apart, and Groce benched him again until he absolutely had to have him out there just to hope he could start hitting some shots.
As for the game itself, I mentioned that this was a must-win in the preview and we didn't win. Which means that if we're going to get to the tournament we are going to have to shock somebody.
And nothing I've seen from this team makes me believe it's capable of such a performance.
-- Joseph Bertrand and Nnanna Egwu were a combined 15-for-26 (57.7%) from the floor this afternoon. The rest of the team was 13-for-38 (34.2%). They were the only redeeming thing about this game, as Bertrand had 17 points and 7 rebounds while Egwu finished with 14 and 7.
-- In the two games against Wisconsin this year Brandon Paul shot 17% and averaged 10.5 points per game.
-- Mike LaTulip took a shot today. Tyler Griffey didn't. That means in the last two games (18 minutes) Tyler's taken one shot and he still hasn't hit a three since Purdue (8 games).
-- I can't wait for this season to be over.